Mental Health Care For People Living With Disabilities

Living with a disability in this world poses significant challenges. Simple activities, such as getting yourself a glass of water or going to the bathroom, can be a struggle every day. On top of that, being limited physically usually comes with frustration, depression, stress, or anxiety.

Sadly, these mental health problems are often overlooked or shoved off to a lower priority because their physical disability appears more pressing. But this should not be the case. The psychological well-being of people with disabilities is just as important as their physical needs.

Taking care of their mental health will not only solve one public health concern but would also strengthen them to better cope with their situation.  

Mental Health Issues And Disability 

According to studies, people living with disabilities, such as with physical and sensory problems, are more likely to experience psychological issues than others. Some of these conditions include, but are not limited to, depression and anxiety. 

Disability is just an umbrella term for people with an impairment, be it psychological, physical, or sensory. Although the frustrations from the constraints are common in every case, it is still critical to distinguish how each one differs when it comes to triggers. For people with cerebral palsy, mental health issues can be triggered by the difficulty of communicating with or finding friends. These triggers or stressors also apply to other forms of disabilities.

What are some of the coping mechanisms people with disabilities can do? 

Mental Health Care Habits

  • Acceptance 


The first step to achieving a better state of mind is to accept your situation. The frustrations that you sometimes feel comes from not being able to do what you want and need. However, the only way you can work around your disability is by acknowledging and accepting in yourself that you have special needs. It does not mean that you will pity yourself; it means realizing that you can still pursue goals and dreams despite your situation.

Feelings of frustrations and self-pity are valid and normal, and you should allow yourself to feel them. Do not suppress your feelings away – if you feel sad, then acknowledge it, and if you feel sorry for yourself right now, then feel it. The more you hide or deny it, the worse you will feel. It can also resurface in a more unpleasant way, sooner or later.

The important thing here is that you develop ways or find outlets where you can healthily release your emotions. You can let your feelings out through journaling, talking to a friend, getting psychotherapy help, or self-expression in arts or writing.

  • Do Not Shut Your Doors Down  

People with disabilities are more likely to self-isolate for various reasons. They could feel stigmatized and discriminated. There are instances when they may feel like a burden to others or sometimes comes with the overall feeling of hopelessness. These situations are triggering and even traumatizing, but be careful not to overgeneralize. However, know that there are people out there who genuinely care and support you. 

 

  • Take Care Of Your Health 

Physical and mental health are two connected things; you can’t prioritize one over the other. Take care of your health by observing healthy habits, like getting enough sleep, proper diet, and regular exercise. If you feel good inside and your blood flow is in shape, you are also likely to have a lighter mood. 

In doing exercises, slowly ease in. It’s best not to push yourself right away with strenuous activities. Find out which exercises are appropriate for you. You can research first about it, or much better if you consult a physician or a gym instructor to guide you properly.

  • Find A Hobby Or A Passion 

As mentioned, accepting your condition is not a ticket to feel useless and hopeless. You may have extra needs, but you have the same rights as other people – you deserve to live your life and enjoy it. Find something to learn, pursue whatever your dreams may be. Finding and doing something you love will keep you busy and fewer chances of derailing in unhelpful thoughts.

There might be a few constraints here and there, but know that you are capable of achieving your desires. If people like Stephen Hawking, Hellen Keller, or Beethoven have been successful in their respective fields, so can you. 

Every context may differ, and not everyone has the resources, but the defining ingredient to success is your will power. Whatever the odds may be, find your drive because, without it, success is almost impossible. Without it, it is impossible.

The Bigger Picture For Mental Health Among People With Disabilities: Advocacy 

We must shed light on how mental health problems of people with disabilities are a public health issue.

People with disabilities still have a hard time seeking psychological help because their psychological symptoms are often downplayed and merely viewed as a normal consequence of their disability. Hence, they are left unaddressed and unacknowledged. This concern needs intervention at the policy and systemic level, such as institutionalizing training for the topic among physicians. But you can do your part in raising awareness, too.  

You can become an advocate of people with disabilities. Helping others and doing volunteer work also uplifts the mood and overall outlook in life. Besides, who else will represent and give voice to the community but you?

The Role Of Family For Infants With Hearing Disability

Sound is a potent stimulus for any human being. Spoken communication is one means for people to interact with one another and their surroundings. However, the ability to hear may be lost at any stage of life or could be even absent upon birth.

Hearing loss may result in several problems in the life of people as well as their significant others. In infants, a test for hearing ability can detect signs of hearing loss. It is vital to determine if the infant has hearing loss to provide appropriate interventions to cater to the infant and the family’s needs.

Some effects of undetected hearing loss include speech and language retardation as well as impairing cognitive development. Appropriate and timely interventions can alleviate and could even improve the lives of infants with this condition. 

The family plays an essential role in the life of infants with hearing disabilities. As the primary caregiver, the family should identify their infant’s needs, especially if diagnosed with hearing disability.

Understanding The Nature Of The Condition

The family needs to understand the condition of the infant. Accepting the fact that an infant has a hearing impairment is crucial because it helps in decision making. Often, neglect of the situation stems from denial and, therefore, affects the infant’s development because the specific needs are not met.

It is essential to learn about the condition of the infant, and it is best to seek help from professionals. They can provide knowledge-based interventions that can, directly and indirectly, address the needs of the infant.

Families should seek advice from reputable and well-established professionals and institutions specialized in ear and hearing health.

By understanding the nature of the hearing disability, the family can take necessary actions and be confident in caring for their infant. It allows them to be relieved of doubts and misconceptions to prevent making unnecessary actions that could potentially harm the infant.

Addressing The Needs Of The Infant

An infant with a hearing disability has unique needs in order to develop and live well. Since hearing is vital in communication, treating hearing loss can allow normal development of language skills in many infants.

In addressing the infant’s needs, it is essential to note that several treatments can help improve the child’s condition. Upon seeking recommended interventions from professionals, the family is equipped with the knowledge to address the infants’ needs.

With the advice from professionals, you can opt for several treatments or focus on specific procedures that are more important. It is worth noting that the right interventions can significantly benefit the infant with profound hearing loss.

Aside from the specialized interventions, the basic needs of the infant are still urgent.

Maintaining good health and well-being is necessary in order for the treatments to be as effective as possible. An infant with hearing disability in good physical health can avoid unnecessary health issues concerning beyond the hearing disability.

Preparing For The Future Of The Infant And Family

Caring for an infant with a hearing disability is an enormous task for any family. With proper understanding and decision making, the family may help the infant develop well and overcome impaired speech and cognitive development.

After the treatments and procedures, the infant can exhibit healthy growth and could go on to a normal life.

Hearing disability in infants can be cured; however, it is not always the case for most patients. In some scenarios, the treatments may not work, and other conditions can affect the efficacy of some procedures.

Family members should work hand in hand with professionals to address these problems in order to select more appropriate actions. It is best not to lose hope and to seek help as it is still in progress because the nature of the condition becomes clearer.

It is crucial that the infant eventually grow into an individual and therefore prepared for the future. Whether or not the infant is well, the infant needs to develop as healthy as possible.

Planning for the future with significant consideration of the child’s condition is necessary. The infant must establish a secure future and grow with a support system that can help them overcome their challenges and struggles.

The family is essential in the life of infants with hearing disabilities.

They are mostly responsible for the general welfare of the infant and in addressing their particular needs. The family should understand the nature of the infant’s condition for them to provide appropriate interventions and improve the well-being of the child.

The role of the family is very significant in the lives of infants with hearing disabilities as they are the people that can understand, accept, and have hope for them. Do not underestimate the wonders that family support can contribute.

Teaching Strategies For Students With Hearing Loss

The 2019 Disabled Child Event emphasized the importance of taking an inclusive teaching approach to people with disabilities. It includes those with hearing loss. Admit or not, students with hearing impairment have a hard time taking studying. The reality is, most of these individuals feel isolated in the learning environment we have right now. With these in mind, here are some teaching strategies you can use to make school systems more inclusive.

Improve Classroom Conditions

Students with hearing conditions need a modified classroom. This kind of room includes well-designed acoustics for optimal sound production, proper visual lighting, and little distractive noise. It would help if you also considered putting them in the front so that they’ll have a more unobstructed view of your visuals. Their sight is their primary weapon in learning.

Provide Transcripts

Flashing powerpoints or writing on blackboards are not enough. Some information that you say on your adlib while teaching, but are not in the visuals. Therefore, the best way to go about this is to provide transcripts that will help them catch up with the discussion. They can review this after to ensure that they’ve understood the lesson correctly.

Repeat Important Concepts

You need to repeat the critical concepts several times so that they’ll take everything in. Do the same practice if ever other students ask some questions before giving your response. This way, they won’t be confused with what’s happening around them. This approach will also help them just in case they have the same question in mind.

Maximize Assistive Technical Capabilities

Years of research and development allowed educators to use tools to teach those with auditory abilities. These are known as assistive technical capabilities. Some examples of these include:

  • Personal Amplification Systems
  • C-Print which has a speech-to-text feature
  • Speech synthesizer
  • FM systems to improve sound an instructor’s microphone

Teaching a student with hearing loss might be a little challenging. However, an educator’s job is to make every teaching approach as inclusive as possible. Apply these tips in your classroom, and you will spearhead positive change in their lives.

Challenges Of Being Blind During A Pandemic

I grew up around visually impaired people, given that my mother is one of them. She lost most of her vision due to glaucoma when I was merely an infant. My father was not around at all, so she had to raise me on her own.

Despite my mother’s blindness, I never thought much about her disability. It was not because I was insensitive but because she did everything that a non-disabled person could do. My mother worked as an accountant, did all the grocery shopping at home, and even did all the household chores until I was old enough to help.

I only realized how challenging it must be to have a visual impairment when the COVID-19 pandemic happened. Here are a few issues that my mother and other visually impaired folks experience now:

You Cannot Ask For Help From Strangers

A lot of sight-impaired individuals get through the day with the help of people they may or may not know. Say, if someone sees that you have a tough time finding the door, they will guide you to it. If you cannot reach a product at the supermarket, they will put it in your cart. Often, you need not ask—those helpful strangers just do it.

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, people have become aloof, especially when they are in a public place. Assuming you used to get assistance from random folks before asking, you may hardly find anyone willing to do it these days. No one feels like coming in contact with strangers, regardless if they have an impairment and genuinely need help.

You Cannot Touch Anything In Public

When there is not another soul to extend a helping hand, a blind person can typically get things done by using their sense of touch. Meaning to say, they tend to feel the walls to know the right direction or avoid bumping into it. That’s how they figure out how to use public transportation, climb up the stairs, or hit the correct elevator button.

Unfortunately, no one can touch any public property at the moment. The virus may be sticking to those walls and buttons, and you can contract COVID-19. Hence, things can be tricky from the moment you step out of the house even if you have a walking stick.

You Cannot Shop Online Easily

Yes, visually impaired folks can do online shopping. They typically have an app that reads the text on the screen, so they don’t need another set of eyes to read for them. Then, when the package comes, the driver or delivery personnel can help check the items and ensure that everything has arrived.

Still, this advancement has proven to be not too helpful during a crisis in which other people are panic buying. After all, it takes a while for the app to change whatever’s on-screen from text to speech. The delivery guys are also forbidden to come in close contact with the customers, so they cannot open the package for the blind. For that reason, the sight-impaired individuals have no choice but to either accept or reject the parcels with missing items.

Final Thoughts

My mother has lived through the challenges mentioned above because of this pandemic, and it saddens her to know that she needs to stay at home more often these days. It makes me feel sadder that the once-helpful folks no longer even want to greet you, but I understand that they only wish to prevent virus transmission. Alas, it may take many moons before things return to their natural state, and it’s safe for visually impaired people to go out by themselves again. All we can do is ask for assistance from a close relative or neighbor for now.…

Classroom Support For Visually Impaired Students

The 2018 Disability Conference promotes the accessibility and inclusivity of various institutions and provides support to differently-abled people and their families. It inclines with the conference focus of equipping differently-abled people to have the same opportunities as everyone else. In line with this, institutions like schools have to ensure that all students have equal chances and access to learning. 

For students who are dealing with notable visual impairment, the students must have access to a Certified Teacher for the Visually Impaired (TVI), including a Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist (COMS) for consultation. However, there are practical tips teacher can implement for teaching visually impaired students inside the classroom, and these are: 

  • Addressing The Students By Their Name

Teachers should speak to their students using their names, whether they are visually impaired or not. For visually impaired students, addressing them with their names allows them to distinguish when their teachers are talking to them or asking them a question. Teachers should approach all the students by their names to help visually impaired students identify their other classmates and create connections inside the classroom. They should also encourage all their students to do the same when they’re talking with each other.

  • Always Explain Visual Materials

You have to clearly explain all the visual materials you’re using while you’re teaching visually impaired students. In this way, all of your students can participate and will feel included in conversations. You should describe the image, and if you’re writing on the chalkboard or whiteboard, it’s best to dictate the words. Avoid using gestures so that everyone can gain access to the information and follow along. Always use positional concepts such as behind/in front or left/right and descriptive sentences.

  • Provide Beneficial Seats

Organize advantageous seats for your students who are visually impaired to help them become comfortable and safe inside the room. For example, if a student is only capable of using his/ her left eye, then place him/her on the right side of the classroom. Avoid making them sit facing a light source as well so that they won’t face difficulties. 

  • Treat All Your Students Fairly

As much as you are making adjustments for your visually impaired students, it’s also essential that you uphold them on the same rules and behavioral expectations like everyone else in the class. Avoid giving preference treatments to them so that they’ll feel like one of their peers inside the classroom.  

Different Types Of Sensory Aids

If you personally know someone who has an impairment and you want to help them in any way possible, be sure to understand that there are different ways that you can do.

First of all, make sure that you understand their condition. Some of the impairments that individuals have are congenital, which means that they were born with their specific kind of condition, while others have acquired them, meaning that they developed a certain impairment due to an accident or a disease. You must be very sensitive about tackling these impairments with them because some may not have accepted their conditions yet. Luckily, if the impairment is not too severe, there are different types of sensory aids depending on their needs.…

How To Start A Conversation With The Hearing Impaired

Hearing loss can impact a person’s quality of life. Imagine how difficult it is to respond to people or join a conversation when you can’t hear anything. Your circle becomes limited because you can only interact with individuals who know how to communicate with you.

“Individuals who are deaf face challenges both similar and unique from those faced by hearing individuals when a family member is dying,” Karen A. Kehl, PhD, RN, ACHPN says.…

5 Tips To Observe In Dealing With A Therapist

Have you decided to start looking for a therapist as soon as possible? Do you think that it is time for you to confront your mental health issues and seek the help of a professional? Are you afraid of how this professional engagement may turn out, especially if you are not aware of how to do it right? In this article, we are going to provide you with some tips and tricks on how you can deal with a therapist during your first few sessions.

 

 

Before anything else, the first step that you must do is to look for an excellent mental health professional who has a good record in your industry. As much as possible, find someone that you can trust so that you will not have a hard time dealing with him. Otherwise, you will only regret your decision of getting therapy. The sessions or meetings may not be fruitful as expected if you fail to select the best therapist in your local community. Because of this, it is best if you will take all the time you need for the selection process to ensure that you will not commit any mistake.

“A good therapist, however you find them, is gold,” shares Don Turner, MD, a private practice psychiatrist in Atlanta. “A good therapist is non judgemental, accepting, and patient. Otherwise, our patients are just getting what they grew up with.”

Check the rest of the article to find out the different ways on how you can deal with a therapist in the right manner. Here are some of the things that you must know:

Talk About The Terms

The first step that you must never forget to settle is to discuss the terms and conditions of your engagement with the therapist. Do not hesitate to ask questions in availing of the professional services. As much as possible, learn about the fees necessary as well as the payment terms available. Aside from this, you must also be able to discuss the frequency of your meetings. Take note that it is best to avail of the trial services provided by some therapists so that you can make the an informed and correct decision. The terms of your contract with the said professional matters a lot.

 

 

Be Honest At All Times

If you want to make your relationship with a therapist work, it is crucial on your part to remain honest no matter what happens. Keep in mind that all communications made to a therapist are highly confidential. This means that you can tell anything you want to the said professional without the risk of disclosure.

“I indicated why some people tell the particular stories they do: to make themselves more interesting in general and, in particular, to have interesting symptoms; to make themselves seem better: more intelligent and more capable; to explain away and justify failures, to put one over the psychiatrist, who may present himself as preternaturally wise; to gossip about others; and to distract from the ordinary business of life which is usually the source of most patients’ distress, but which is painful to contemplate because it is so intractable. In sum, people lie to cover up an unpleasant picture that they have of themselves,” Fredric Neuman, MD, shares.

Under the state laws, a therapist is prohibited from revealing any form of information that it derives during therapy sessions. Failure to observe this law can cause for the revocation of their license. These laws were enacted to ensure that clients or patients could confide freely to the therapist. However, the rules also mandate that any confession regarding the commission of a future crime will not be included in the privileged communication. Aside from this, the notes of therapists may not be brought as evidence in any case, unless a court issues a subpoena.

Ask For Clarifications

There are many things that you can learn from a therapist during your sessions. Some of these items may not be clear to you, which is why you must never have second thoughts in asking for clarifications. Keep in mind that it is absolutely okay to request your mental health professional expert to explain some terms clearly to you. Stop thinking that you are always helpless. If something is bothering you, bring it up, and have a truthful communication with a therapist. Once you can do all these things, you will be surprised to find out that attending therapy is not as difficult as what other people say. All you have to do is to ask the right questions.

 

Be Responsible

Just because you are a client does not mean that everything will go according to what you plan or intend to do. Keep in mind that a therapist has many things to do on his plate. As such, you cannot expect him to give you a lot of time in a given day. Make sure that you respect the allotted time given to you. Check your calendar and see if you have a meeting with a therapist. It is highly recommended that you go to the therapist’s clinic ahead of time. At the same time, be courteous enough to call the office to inform the front desk office if you wish to cancel your meeting or appointment. It is best to do it ahead of time so that you will not encounter any problem at all.

“You know therapy is working if you are doing the skills you have learned in session outside of session and seeing that it works or helps. There might be working if you are able to set better boundaries, trust yourself and your decisions without reassurance seeking, validate yourself and others, or prioritize your needs and demands in a more balanced way,” Jessica Dyer, LCSW, staff counselor at Washington University in St. Louis, says.

What are you waiting for? Start your search for the best therapist now, and remember the items mentioned above.

 

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